Passenger numbers continue to grow on East Suffolk Line

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Record numbers of passengers travelled on Abellio Greater Anglia’s East Suffolk Line train services last year, with the line recording its highest ever number of passengers.

An additional 25,000 passenger journeys were made in 2014 on the line which runs from Ipswich to Lowestoft – bringing the annual total to a new high of 675,000 passenger journeys.

The passenger growth continues after Abellio Greater Anglia completed a £3 million refurbishment of the two-carriage Class 156 vehicles that operate on the line in 2014. The fleet of nine trains received a complete interior overhaul, including new carpets, dado panels, seat covers and a deep clean as well as the installation of a new passenger information system which delivers automatic announcements and a universal access toilet.

The fleet upgrade follows the introduction of an hourly service on the line in December 2012 (following work to install a passing loop was completed at Beccles) which heralded a wider programme of customer-focused enhancements such as new ticket machines, station repainting and the introduction of print-at-home and mobile ticketing facilities.

The focus on improving the line is set to continue with Abellio Greater Anglia announcing last week that, in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the Designated Community Rail Development Fund, a new automatic ticket vending machine and CCTV will be installed at Halesworth rail station.

The line will also continue to benefit from the support of the East Suffolk Line Community Rail Partnership which recently welcomed a new Chairman, Aaron Taffera.

Abellio Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, Neil Grabham, said, "By working together with partners who share an interest in the success of the East Suffolk line, we are committed to making the Ipswich to Lowestoft route even more successful and an even more valuable asset to the communities it serves, supporting tourism and the local economy."